Best DIY Car Care & Maintenance Tips

Sure, it’s already been hot in Albuquerque, but even more intense heat is still coming…followed in a couple months by monsoon rains. Whether you’ve stayed on top of car care or have neglected maintenance, there are some visual inspections, top-offs and preventative maintenance tasks you can (and must!) do to make sure your car’s ready for summer.

DIY Maintenance for Visibility

Visibility entails your ability to see the road (and obstacles on it) and the ability of other drivers to see you. To ensure optimal visibility during low-sun hours (dawn and dusk) and summer storms, check:

  • Lights—inside and out. Replace burnt-out bulbs. If light intensity is dimmed because of hazy headlamp covers, you may either buff them yourself (or take them to Quanz to do the buffing for you because, honestly, it’s kind of labor intensive)
  • Wiper blades and replace blades that are brittle and/or show signs of wear
  • Wiper fluid level—refill/top-off as necessary (you’re going to have a lot of bug guts to remove)

While you’re at it, take the time to reposition your mirrors as needed to minimize the presence of blind spots.

DIY Maintenance for Stability and Control

Being able to control your vehicle at all times is essential to road safety. To make sure your vehicle always responds appropriately to your driving, check:

  • Tire pressure. If you don’t already have a tire gauge, invest the $2 to get one so that you can make sure your tires are adequately pumped up. Check your owner’s manual to see if your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends a different tire pressure for hot weather (because air expands when it’s warm, and you don’t want to overinflate your tires).
  • Tire tread. All you need is a penny to determine if your tire tread is sufficient or if it’s time to replace tires. Adequate tread depth cannot be understated when it comes to grip and stopping ability on wet pavement.
  • Brakes. Turn down your stereo and listen for any squealing or grinding. In an isolated area where there are no cars behind you, test your ability to stop quickly. If you feel your car losing grip or taking too much time/distance to stop, then get an actual brake inspection.

Your DIY stability and control checks should also include a visual inspection of steering and brake fluid levels. Top-off if necessary. If you’ve recently done so and levels are low, have your lines and hoses checked for leaks.

DIY Maintenance for Aesthetics and Corrosion Prevention

Ideally, you’ve already washed away winter road residue that contributes to corrosion. If not, then your first DIY maintenance item is a thorough car wash. Once that’s done, then:

  • Inspect the exterior for areas of paint damage. If you can and/or want to, you may apply a color matching touch-up. Follow-up with a clear coat to seal the exposed area from air and moisture.
  • Wax your vehicle to protect the paint from UV damage.

If you’ve been considering window tint for some time, now may be the best time so that you can take advantage of the benefits that come with the reduction of solar energy buildup in your cabin.

For Everything Else…

For a comfortable summer driving experience, you will need a fully functioning AC system. And you don’t want to get stuck anywhere because of a drained battery. While you may be able to assess whether these systems and components are in need of attention, the type of attention they need may not be DIY items.

For everything your car needs that you can’t (or don’t want to) do, bring it to us. We can do everything from multiple-point inspections to routine maintenance to troubleshooting unscheduled service issues. Contact us to schedule an appointment or just stop by our Westside location.